Vast areas of the northern part of South America are covered in dense rainforest, the largest of its kind on the planet.
While entering this dense jungle isn’t exactly a popular activity for most tourists, it features some remarkable spots to visit, including the largest national park in France.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most interesting facts about the Amazon Rainforest, one of the most pristine pieces of nature in the world.
1. It’s located within the borders of 9 different countries
The Amazon Rainforest is also known as the “Amazon Jungle” or “Amazonia” and covers an immense area in the northern part of South America.
It covers areas within these 9 countries:
- Brazil (58.4%)
- Peru (12.8%)
- Bolivia (7.7%)
- Colombia (7.1%)
- Venezuela (6.1%)
- Guyana (3.1%)
- Suriname (2.5%)
- French Guiana (1.4%)
- Ecuador (1%)
2. It covers the huge basin of the second-longest river in the world
The Amazon Rainforest is huge!
It covers most of the basin of the Amazon River, generally accepted to be the second-longest river in the world after the Nile River.
This river has a length of 6,992 kilometers (4,345 miles) and drains a basin that covers an area of 6,300,000 square kilometers (2,400,000 square miles). This is about 35.5% of the entire continent.
The rainforest covers an area of 5,500,000 square kilometers (2,100,000 square miles) which makes it by far the largest remaining tropical rainforest in the world.
3. It’s home to nearly 400 billion trees and over 30 million people
Even though it’s hard to put an exact number to it, it’s estimated that the first is made up out of a total of 390 billion individual trees. These are divided into more than 16,000 different tree species, staggering numbers indeed.
The calculation of people living inside the rainforest is much easier. Just over 30 million people live within the borders of the 9 countries of this immense tropical jungle.
These are divided into 350 different ethnic groups. Even more interesting is the fact that there are a total of 3,344 acknowledged indigenous territories as well. These are areas that are considered to be owned by the tribes that live in them.
4. The southeastern part is in danger of becoming a savannah
Even though the rainforest is enormous, it still faces a serious threat which is deforestation. It’s estimated that about 17% of the forest areas have been turned into non-forest areas for human development.
This is especially the case in the southeastern part of the rainforest which has seen a huge increase in deforestation activity in the past couple of decades.
The so-called “Amazon tipping point” is estimated to be reached at about 20 to 25% of deforestation. This means we’re merely 3 to 8% away from vast parts of the eastern, southern, and central parts of the forest turning into a degraded savannah.
5. It features the largest national park in France and the European Union
One of the most remarkable facts about the Amazon Rainforest is that about 41% of French Guiana, an overseas department of France in the northeastern part of South America, consists of a protected area.
The “Guiana Amazonian Park” protects an area of 33,900 square kilometers (13,090 square miles) which not only makes it the largest national park in France but in the entire European Union as well.
More interesting facts about the Amazon Rainforest
6. 9% of the total population living inside the Amazon Rainforests are indigenous people. Only a small part of the tribes living in the dense jungle remain isolated today. About 60 groups live largely isolated from the outside world today.
7. 4 of the 9 countries that are located within the borders of the rainforest use the name to describe one of their official administrative regions. These are the Brazilian and Venezuelan states called “Amazonas” and the Peruvian and Colombian departments called “Amazonas.”
8. The capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas is Manaus. With a population of 2.2 million inhabitants, this is also the largest city located within the borders of the rainforest.
9. The Amazon Rainforest isn’t just the largest tropical rainforest in the world, it also consists of half of the remaining tropical rainforest on the planet.
10. The protected area of the rainforest in French Guiana is extremely pristine. This is emphasized by the fact that the area can only be reached by airplane or by a small boat referred to as a “pirogue.”
This park is located in the utmost southern part of French Guiana and is adjoined by the “Tumucumaque National Park” which covers an area of 38,800 square kilometers (14,980 square miles). Combined, these two parks are the largest area of protected rainforest on the planet.